By Melissa Weinman and Dan Whisenhunt
The Dunwoody City Council voted May 29 to approve a seperation agreement with City Attorney Brian Anderson in lieu of firing him for allegedly leaking confidential information from an executive session to the media.
The council voted 6-1 in favor of the agreement with Anderson. The council agreed that Anderson would resign and the city would pay him two months salary and benefits, worth $29,176. The agreement also calls for Anderson not to seek any further damages from the city. Councilman Denis Shortal voted against the agreement because he did not support giving Anderson additional salary.
The investigation that led to Anderson’s ouster has so far cost the city more than $25,000 and additional bills from the investigator are expected.
In this video: Dunwoody City Councilman Terry Nall discusses why he voted to accept the resignation of City Attorney Brian Anderson during a May 29 city council meeting. Anderson resigned following allegations he leaked confidential information to the media.
According to the old provisions of Georgia Open Meetings Act, elected officials are allowed to meet in private only to discuss the purchase of property or legal and personnel matters. The act was updated in April and now property sales are also allowed to be discussed in executive sessions.
The council held executive sessions in late January and early February to discuss what is now known as “Project Renaissance,” a public-private partnership with John Wieland Homes and Neighborhoods to develop 35 city-owned acres in the Georgetown area into homes, retail, parks and a possible municipal complex.
Anderson has said council’s discussion about the sale of city-owned property in executive session was not confidential because the old law did not allow it. City Manager Warren Hutmacher said the complexity of the deal made it impossible to talk about the city’s purchase of property without discussing the city’s intent to sell property it owns.
The investigation, conducted by former DeKalb County District Attorney Bob Wilson, accuses that Anderson and Councilwoman Adrian Bonser of sharing information from the private meetings with the press and the public. Both have denied being the source of the leak.